Top of the table and looking pretty healthy, Chelsea shouldn’t have any cares in the world. The Blues are playing some of the best football of the entire Roman Abramovich era and Eden Hazard has been revived by manager Antonio Conte, while no European football, alongside a nine-point buffer at the top of the table, means that the west Londoners already have one hand on the trophy they so famously failed to defend last season.
Alas, there is one cloud on the horizon: Diego Costa. The Spaniard may be banging in goals at the moment, but the whole prospect of a mega-money move to China is still dangling, with some reports even suggesting that the 28-year-old will take the pay-day in the Far East when 2016/17 comes to an end. It would be no surprise to see him do so; after all this is a player who turned his back on the country of his birth, Brazil, at international level and has never shied away from controversy. There’s nothing wrong with those things, and if he sees the move as the right choice for himself, who can argue?
It will, however, leave Chelsea with a headache: how do you replace a player of Costa’s ability and potency? Well, they may indeed look to the past by re-signing Romelu Lukaku from Everton, as Yahoo have claimed today.
The Belgian famously left the capital club on a series of loan moves before settling at Goodison Park after signing for Chelsea as a teenager. He may feel he has unfinished business, and his stats this season certainly suggest the league leaders would be getting a great striker to lead the line…
The standout number, aside from his league goalscoring chart-topping 16, is Lukaku’s aerial duel count (79 won) which is the eighth highest of any player in the division. On top of this, the 23-year-old has a shot accuracy return of 64%, has made 49 take-ons and created 33 chances, four of which have been assists.
Life after Costa may not be so bleak, assuming a deal can be done!